3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
A good insight into the Blair years but not unbiased (unsurprisingly), 1 Jan 2011
This was an interesting read that gave a really good insight into the Blair government. Gossipy to an extent, but also very informative, in an easy to read style.
The battles between Blair and Brown are laid bare, despite the years of denials of any rift. Jonathan was Blair's Chief of Staff and so it's perhaps no surprise that he makes many bitchy comments about Gordon Brown and his entourage. There's no doubt a lot of truth and insight in what he says, but at times it gets a bit tiresome. However it's perhaps refreshing that he is so candid in his views! I'll have to read a book now from someone in Gordon's camp to try to balance things out.
The Machiavelli aspect of the book made it a bit different to normal books by politicians (he was appointed though, rather than elected, and he has a diplomatic background). It was more than just a novelty, but the links were at times a little tenuous in places. I haven't read either of the two particular Machiavelli books that he mentions, which limits the extent to which I can comment on his interpretation on them or how valid they are to the modern examples he gives. However having said that, it seemed to me that they were on the whole valid and insightful. However he does seem to repeat many of the same points at several times in different parts of the book.
I certainly enjoyed this book and felt it was well worth the cost price. I'd recommend it, particularly for people interested in recent British political history.